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by Alliance Environmental · January 27, 2015

The Ins and Outs of Black Mold Removal

The real problem with black mold removal is that the offending creature is so good at getting into every nook and cranny in a space. You will find it behind baseboards, under carpets, in flower pots and even inside – yes, inside! – drywall.

This stubborn nature of this nuisance means that anyone – whether a homeowner or contractor – seeking to remediate a black mold problem must use a three-pronged approach for the most successful results. Here are the basics of this process:

Eliminate the Source of the Problem

Black mold needs a steady source of moisture to get established, multiply and thrive. Once a black mold colony is identified, it is imperative to cut off its source of water. While this won't immediately, if ever, kill off the colony, it is essential in forestalling any further colonies from reestablishing themselves after the final two remediation steps are completed.

Look for any obvious sources of water infiltration into the home from the outside as well as leaks in pipes and appliances. If the problem is simply accumulated moisture in the air that eventually condenses onto various surfaces, you will have to consider the installation of a dehumidifier. In any event, the space must be thoroughly dry – and stay that way – before you start any further remediation efforts.

Thoroughly Clean the Area

While this step sounds fairly straightforward, it does take some tenacity and attention to detail to properly accomplish. In short, no half-hearted measures can be taken here. For example, sheetrock that has been infiltrated by the black mold cannot just be scraped clean and hit with a spray of bleach. Instead, it must be removed and replaced.

Other areas of general concern include the wall studs, the insulation and the carpeting. Each should be rigorously inspected and torn out if found to be contaminated. Only in this way can the homeowner be assured that the black mold infestation will not reoccur. On a related note, the insides of electrical outlets, phone and cable wall boxes and heating vents should also be checked and disinfected.

Repair Any Damage

Repairing the damage that may have been done in removing the mold is not as simple as replacing the old stuff with something similar. Instead, a more prudent approach is to upgrade to mold-resistant materials. Drywall, wood studs and insulation all now come in moisture- and mold-resistant varieties. The same holds true for carpets, stucco, paint and even caulk. Lastly, consider applying mold inhibiting chemicals on a regular basis for those seemingly hard to cure areas.

Safety Issues

While black mold is a menace to those who are exposed to it on a daily basis, it is even more problematic for those trying to remove it. Experts recommend that all manner of protection be used depending on the severity of the infestation. For moderate removal projects, wear a respirator or a facemask rated for black mold spore protection, and cover the arms, legs and hands to avoid contact with mold spores. More substantial projects may need to utilize air filtration systems and HEPA-rated vacuum cleaners to keep the mold in the air at safe and tolerable levels.

For more information on the best techniques for black mold removal and remediation, please contact us at 877.858.6220 to inquire about a free estimate.

Or download a free copy of our Asbestos, Lead Paint & Mold eBook to learn how to mitigate the liability risks associated with common environmental threats found in residential properties.

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